Minister for Defence People and Veterans supports the Soldiering On Awards - X-Forces Enterprise
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Minister for Defence People and Veterans supports the Soldiering On Awards

In his first public event, the Minister for Defence People and Veterans, Johnny Mercer MP, attended the Soldiering On Awards launch adding his support for nominations to the tenth Awards.

Hosted by The Royal British Legion, a packed audience heard from the Minister,  Soldiering On Awards Co-chairs Ren Kapur MBE and Tal Lambert MBE and previous nominators, winners, finalists and winners, along with tips and guidelines from an Awards Judge and wrap up comments from TRBL Director General Charles Byrne.


Read some of their key messages here:


The Awards Categories

Wg Commander Tal Lambert MBE – Co-Chair SOA

“The Awards Raison d’etre is to support the whole community. We are unique in that respect. There is a category to fit everyone.”


The Value and Benefit of Being a Nominator

Mark Collins, Assistant Director, The Royal British Legion

“The local branch team nominated a volunteer, who worked so hard and would never seek the limelight for herself. She was over the moon simply to be nominated, as were all of her fellow volunteers on her behalf. The act of joining together to support and nominate one of our colleagues had a positive impact on the whole team.”


What the Finalists Get out of the Awards

David Hatcher, Chairman Veterans Gateway

“It’s not just about the honour of being the overall winner – it’s about being recognised by your peers.

“As Finalists one of the huge benefits we achieved was the platform and communication outreach that SOA gave us. When Veterans Gateway first started out we faced the normal challenges to communicate about what we did. The Awards certainly helped us do that; and helped us reach people at the coal face.”


A Winner’s Point of View

Nikki Markham, Director Battling On CIC

“The credibility associated with winning the Award helped open doors for us that had previously been firmly shut in our faces. The whole local community where we are in Cornwall had a sense of pride about our award… and one of the happiest moments of my life was looking at my parents faces stood on the stage when they won.

“One of the most important things was becoming part of the SOA ‘family’. There are many times we have asked ‘can you help us share our news within the community?’ And the answer has always been ‘Yes!’”


What Do the Judges Look For?

Dr Robin Cordell, Brigadier (Rtd) Cordell Health

“Our aim is to recognise and celebrate people’s contribution. It is not just about those who have served, but the wider community. The on-line nomination process is straight forward; we ask four key questions to help guide you to provide the necessary information and we don’t ask for long written citations. The final judges’ meeting under the chairmanship of General the Lord Dannatt and Debra Allcock-Tyler, CEO Directory of Social Change, involves a lot of discussion before the final decisions are made.”


Making a Difference to the Community

Lt. Col. Ren Kapur MBE CEO X-Forces Enterprise

“I’ve been involved with awards for many years. They are all great in their own rights. However, there is something special about the Soldiering On Awards. That strong sense of community, which I’ve never encountered anywhere else; helping and supporting each other. As an example, I was talking to one of our previous winners this evening Luke Delahunty; Luke said he wouldn’t miss being here tonight to support in encouraging people to nominate and be part of the community. It’s through connecting with a fellow winner at the awards Dr Amher Khan, that Luke is now receiving support through the services he offers.

“Our aim with the awards is always to continue to support the next stage on the journey of our award winners and we also do that through the awards ‘3:6:12’ programme of promotion, knowledge exchange or connections.”


Key Note Presentation

Minister for Defence People and Veterans, Johnny Mercer MP

“Too often the respect we have for service people turns to pity when they leave – these awards are a really important part of changing myths about veterans.

“The energy and enterprise possessed by veterans is often just what’s needed to work in business or start your own business. I want people to know that a career in the Armed Forces is a stepping stone to a successful future afterwards. The Soldiering On Awards help do that and I will do my utmost to get the message out about the awards!”




So… who do you know that deserves to be nominated?

Nominations are open until 30th September so you have just under a month to submit your nomination to say thank you to an individual, team or organisation for the amazing things that they do for the wider Armed Forces Community.

And, of course – if your nominee reaches the Finalists stage, you’ll be invited to the Finalists’ Reception at the House of Lords in Feb 2020! How amazing would that be?!!

See the categories and start your nomination by clicking the button below.



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Press Release


The Armed Forces community came together to launch the opening of nominations for the 10th annual Soldiering On Awards. The event, attended by previous winners, finalists and charity and sponsor supporters from across the whole community, highlighted the importance of recognising the ongoing positive contribution made to society by those who have served, their families, organisations and fellow members of the Armed Forces community who support them.

In his first public event since taking up the brand new office, the Minister for Defence People and Veterans, Johnny Mercer MP, gave the keynote speech in which he reiterated his commitment to the Armed Forces community, the importance of recognition and the simple act of saying “thank you” to those who serve their communities.

The event, hosted by The Royal British Legion, was an opportunity for guests to hear from previous nominators, finalists and winners. Also to gain hints and tips from members of the independent judges panel about how to prepare a nomination. Fellow speakers included Co-Chairs of the Awards Advisory Board Lt. Col Ren Kapur MBE and Wing Commander Tal Lambert MBE, and Charles Byrne, Director General The Royal British Legion.

The 2020 Awards, taking place on 24th April 2020, will mark the 10th anniversary of the Soldiering On Awards and the first full awards cycle since becoming part of X-Forces Enterprise (XFE). During those 10 years, over 120 Award Winners – teams, charities, businesses and animal partners – across a range of categories, along with countless more finalists, have been recognised for their outstanding contributions. All nominators whose nominee reaches Finalist stage are invited to the Finalists Reception at the House of Lords in February 2020.

2020 Awards nominations are open until 30th September 2019 under the following categories:

  1. Family Values Award – sponsored by NetApp
  2. Working Together Award – sponsored by Forces in Mind Trust
  3. Education, Training and Development Award – sponsored by Capita
  4. Healthcare and Rehabilitation Award – Sponsored by Redwood Technologies Group
  5. Sporting Excellence Award – Sponsored by Spectra Group
  6. Inspiration Award – Sponsor ed by NatWest
  7. Animal Partnership Award – Sponsored by Pets at Home
  8. Defence Inclusivity Award – Sponsored by Landmarc
  9. Lifetime Achievement Award – Sponsored by Greenwich Hospital
  10. Business of the Year – Start Up Award – Sponsored by GKN Aerospace
  11. Business of the Year – Scale Up Award – sponsor London Stock Exchange Group
  12. Business of the Year – Community Impact Award – Sponsored by Cisco
  13. People’s Choice Award – Sponsored by The Garnett Foundation

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CEO X-Forces Enterprise & Co-Chair Soldiering On Awards Lt. Col. Ren Kapur MBE said:

“The Soldiering On Awards highlight how the can-do attitude and spirit of Armed Forces community members continues to contribute to society whether you have served or part of services community.

“These remarkable role models deserve all the recognition and are an inspiration to society at large. In addition, all award-winners will receive tailored support through the XFE ‘3:6:12’ programme for the next stage of their journeys, including promotion, knowledge exchange or connections. Who do you know who deserves to be recognised?”

Minister for Defence People and Veterans, Johnny Mercer MP said:

“Every year the Soldiering on Awards mark the extraordinary stories and achievements which are taking place across the armed forces community.

“Whether it’s ex-forces personnel starting a new business, or the important contribution military charities make, these awards always show off the best of Britain”.

The Director General of the Royal British Legion Charles Byrne said,

“The Royal British Legion is a huge advocate and supporter of the Soldiering On Awards. The UK’s military personnel and their families are some of the most dedicated in society, and it is wonderful for people to have this opportunity to recognise their outstanding achievements. The awards do a great job of highlighting all the individuals and organisations that deliver support to the Armed Forces community, whatever their contributing role. Together we can ensure that this year’s event is a tremendous celebration of those who have served and those who support them.”

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To make a nomination, or find out more about the Awards go to:

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